Back to full-on PVP!
The Mercury server allows three races (Sol, Genari, Ma'Alaketh) to fight it out on even grounds for the first time in Space Wars history. Some upgrades and tweaks behind the scenes have been made in preparation for this server, and also two new starter ships for Sol and Genari:
The Monarch Stealth Corvette
Special Operations focused on developing some of the most powerful ships in the Sol fleet, such as the Exeter and Yamato capital ships. It is now well known that the dampening field technology the Exeter possesses under the guise of a Genari Monolith was some sort of reverse-engineering of stolen Ma'Alaketh tech, so in theory it could be applied to smaller ships as well. Not as efficient as the Ma'Alaketh stealth technology, but effective enough, this miniaturized version could be placed on a small corvette-class ship and applied as a counter to the new Ma'Alaketh incursion. Because of the significant power costs of the 'stealth device', power savings were made in the efficiency of the shield generator, and the return of rudimentary fission warheads. The ship could deliver a payload of fission warheads in close combat, and evade enemy fire with enough distance from the target warship. Still somewhat of an experimental design, it has found itself even more useful in combat against Genari corvettes.
The Vanguard Missile Corvette
The newest Corvette-class warship uniquely designed by the Moshtigh matriarchy is a different take on the Star Warrior, whereby the ship focuses on a singular fission warhead. The FW-6 is a more powerful, longer range weapon, used on the Victory class Light Cruiser -- and can be deployed with same potency as three of Star Warrior's missiles with one-third the power cost. The superstructure was designed with improved power collectors which increase the damage of the fission warheads by as much as 15%. Some smart captains have trained their Tactical Officers to focus on creating stable overloading of the missile launcher, thus giving this weapon far greater potential. As new as this ship is, it is unknown how popular it will be among battle-hardened Genari captains who take preference over more maneuverable warships.
The Avenger Suicide Corvette
Now with a war on three fronts, the Genari were losing ground to the sudden Ma'Alaketh awakening, and Sanethi captains were finding themselves in more desperate situations. Ma'Al ships were harder to hit because of their dampening fields, and their shields too hard to penetrate with basic lasers. Some captains would go suicide with higher powered, disposable ships like the Agile Flyer, using the ships' explosion as a way to knock down enemy shields and their weaker hulls. Matriarch Zeranghi who found her forces at the forefront of the Ma'Al incursion devised a new corvette with a unique tactic in mind. The Avenger is a small ship that could be produced cheaply and be mostly automated with only a token crew -- with one goal -- to explode adjacent enemy ships and stations. With dual frigate-class FHD-5 fusion drives, it could propel itself quickly to an enemy target, and explode with very significant splash damage to all of its surroundings, destroying nearby enemy corvettes outright. It has also been proven to be quite effective against Hive swarms, which could be disabled or destroyed by the explosion wave. If anything, this ship is so fast that it can keep out of danger, and time its approach when it is strategically significant.